Morocco Signs $1 Billion Deal with Israel's IAI for Satellites

Morocco has signed a deal to acquire two "Ofek-13" satellites, manufactured by the Israeli defense company Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), according to Israeli media sources.

The same sources have indicated that the financial value of the deal is one billion US dollars. The initial agreement was made in the summer of 2023, and the Israeli delegation visited Rabat in recent days to sign the official and final agreement to put the deal into effect.

The media sources stated that Morocco would receive the two satellites from IAI by 2029, within the next five years, to enhance its surveillance and intelligence capabilities and replace its current satellites, Mohammed VI-A and Mohammed VI-B.

Israeli media reported that IAI announced this deal on the stock exchange without mentioning Morocco by name, referring only to a deal with a third party. However, Israeli sources confirmed that this third party is Morocco, noting that a plane carrying an IAI delegation recently traveled to Morocco.

It is worth noting that the latest report from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) revealed last March that the Moroccan Royal Armed Forces plan to strengthen their reconnaissance capabilities by acquiring two satellites from IAI in the summer of 2023.

According to the same source, the deal involves two "Ofek-13" satellites, which, according to the technical specifications provided by the Israeli company, boast significant intelligence and reconnaissance capabilities, particularly in high-resolution imaging of up to 0.5 meters.

The source added that Morocco aims to enhance its surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities, in addition to the two satellites it previously launched in 2016 and 2017, named Mohammed VI-A and Mohammed VI-B, which were French-made.

In December, the French newspaper La Tribune published a report highlighting France's failure to attract Morocco’s interest in acquiring new satellites, noting that Rabat decided to shift its focus to Tel Aviv to purchase the new satellites.

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